A low-budget action-thriller called Den of Thieves is due for release in 2018. It stars Gerard Butler as a hardcore, former gangbanger turned into a hard-boiled cop. He leads a group of other hardened officers who are put on a case to stop a group of highly efficient thieves.
The film rekindles the tired but entertaining trope of a group of heisters wanting to pull off one big job before going their separate ways. In this case, the group – consisting of mostly no-namers save for the failed rapper 50 Cent – wants to rob the Federal Reserve. However, hot on their trail is Gerard Butler and his criminal-tier buddies ready to put bullets in heads and shoot to kill.
The concept sounds like a traditional, masculine, action-thriller, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. You can check out the trailer below courtesy of Movieclips Trailer.
Heist-addicted thieves have been able to rob armored trucks, take out cops, and essentially utilize military-style tactics to take what they want, when they want.
The brains behind the operation is Pablo Schreiber, the sniper from Michael Bay’s 13 Hours. He leads a small group of gangsters into heists using high-powered assault weapons.
Opposite of the group is Gerard Butler and his group of killtastic cops who don’t mind watching baddies bleed out on the ground.
Eventually the two groups will face off against each other in a bloody showdown featuring high-powered weapons and lots of shells flying everywhere, bullet holes riddling nearby set piece props, and car chases helping add a bit of side dressing to the overall content. It’s a little like Heat meets Street Kings.
Now this all sounds fantastic on paper, but seeing the trailer reminds me of all those DTV films I’ve wasted my time watching over the years that have burned me more times than not.
Some of the giveaways for the film seeming cheap is just how tight a lot of the shots are in what look like very small, contained sets. The blocks don’t look very impressive, and the director of photography seems to have very small creativity in creating unique looking shots that separate the movie from any other direct-to-DVD action fanfare over the years.
Now I could be completely wrong and the movie could be a tight, high-tension, low-budget action affair like many cool action indie flicks like Sinners & Saints or No One Lives or The Raid.
However, this is director Christian Gudegast’s first film where he’s behind the camera. His previous work in Tinseltown included writing credits for less than impressive films such as London Has Fallen and A Man Apart. Both films were less than stellar in the writing department and were kind of all over the place, which inspires even less confidence in Den of Thieves.
Gudegast just hasn’t shown that he has the same level of chops at crafting a high-impact thriller script the way other, more talented, writers in the business have such as David Ayer.
The thing is, if the action is light then it’ll need a compelling and thrilling set of characters and story pacing to carry it, and we all know 50 Cent can’t act. And from the little bits of action they showcased in the trailer I’m not entirely sold. All the actors look like they can handle their hardware, but how the actual scenes are shot and play out will make the real difference.
For now this seems like a film worth keeping an eye on. While I don’t have the highest of hopes for Den of Thieves, sometimes we have to take what we can get during this era of effeminate action movies being doled out by the scandal-laden powers that be in Hollywood.
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